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Parkinson's sufferers 'often face depression'

14th June 2006

New research has suggested that the vast majority of people who suffer from Parkinson's disease experience some form of depression.

A survey by the European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) discovered that around 80 per cent of those with the disease had often or sometimes experienced depressive symptoms alongside their illness.

"In many cases, it's not the symptoms that one normally associates with PD that cause the most distress. When your mood is affected, it can be very difficult to maintain a normal outlook on life," commented Mary Baker, president of the EPDA.

She added that many of those caring for sufferers of Parkinson's find that the depression of their loved one or patient is one of the hardest aspects of the condition to deal with.

Around 40 per cent of those who said they had suffered depressive symptoms had only occasionally, rarely or never discussed their feelings with a doctor.

Further investigations are expected in an attempt to discover if, as many suspect, the depressive symptoms are intrinsically linked with Parkinson's or whether they are as a result of the condition.